Cloud Computing is becoming increasingly popular — and it is a danger to your freedom. But we can do something about it.First, when the term Cloud Computing was introduced, it meant a set of low-level services like virtual machines, databases and file storage. Examples of these areAmazon Elastic Computing Cloudand related services. Since these services are quite low-level, they can be replicated by others, an example is theEucalyptus project.This means if you aren’t satisfied with the service one cloud computing provider offers, you either can change the provider or — e.g., usingEucalyptus — roll your own.
But increasingly cloud-computing is a relaunch of the oldSoftware as a Service paradigm under a new name. This means thatapplications like Textprocessing, Spreadsheets, Wiki, Blog, Voice and Video over IP, collaboration software in general is made available as so-called “Web 2.0? applications — now called “Cloud Applications” on the web.
When using these services, there is a severe risk ofVendor Lock-In— since the applications may not be available elsewhere, you cannot easily switch the provider. Worse: From some of the Web 2.0 Services like social networks (e.g., Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook) you can’t retrieve your own data. Xing for example has a “mobile export” for data, but this works only for paying customers and only exports address data.
Continues @ http://blog.runtux.com